My fearful heart looks for formulas. Methods. Things I can control.
If I have a clear path… do this and live, then I feel safer and less afraid.
I need to know… what must I do to be ok?
When I ask this from a Spirit-created desperation, God gives this:
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
But I often ask this from a natural mind that clings to its need to control.
My natural mind, my “fleshly” nature (as Paul called it), wants and needs a formula. A specific set of things to say and do. A path to salvation (and ok-ness) that it can perform. Self-salvation.
Because my natural mind is afraid. Literally all the time. And my natural mind recoils in fear to abandoning itself to God’s care.
My mind wants a safety net. A formula.
So my formula-heart says to God: “I’m doing the right things!”
But it is still empty.
So to that “formula-soul,” that dead and fearful flesh, Christ gives this:
One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” – Luke 18:22
The place of rest, safety, and salvation, is not keeping a formula. Not “do and live.”
Salvation is found when the Spirit of God creates this new heart within me:
Let it be granted me to find You alone, O Christ, to open to You my whole heart, to enjoy You as my soul desires, to be disturbed by no one, to be moved and troubled by no creature, that You may speak to me and I to You alone, as a lover speaks to his loved one, and friend converses with friend.” ~Thomas a Kempis